Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Romans 8:28 moments, He uses it all

This was a crazy week, it was just amazing... Before I left for Haiti, I felt like a literally got a beat down before I left for Haiti. I almost didn't even go, that's right, the day before I almost said "forget it, I don't even want to go". But thankfully I am not a quitter. I could not disappoint my team.

Now in my life, I have been abused by many, almost got hit with a golf club by someone who claimed to love me (thank God it was almost). But right before i left felt like one of the worst attacks I've ever had on my life.  I remember laying in bed, just sobbing, sending out prayer requests to people who I trusted to pray not even knowing what to tell them to pray for.  I remember praying to God saying "You must fight this one for me, I can't do it this time"

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14 NIV)

So I continued on, grabbing onto Jesus like a baby chimp attaches to it's momma as they swing through the jungle over high places knowing it doesn't want to fall.

I'll tell you that through this time, God has spoken to me so much. "Don't worry about them, just serve and love Me, I love you and if you do that, I will never be disappointed in you".

Then today in church we sang "washed by the water" and my heart broke wide open, and I sobbed.  Thankful. Thankful for that hard time, thankful for the time i spent with God. Thankful that no matter if I please man or not, pleasing God is what matters.

I find myself thankful for Romans 8:28 moments.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Even when Earth crumbles under my feet
Even when ones I love turn around and crucify me
I won't never ever let you down
I won't fall
I won't fall
I won't fall as long as you're around me

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oh Haiti

There is something about Haiti. 

I was packing up my bag and thought "oh Haiti". It's a place, it's a feeling, and it's even a smell :) (Carly you know what I'm talking about). It's a cross between sweat and dirt. Oh Haiti. I wish I could somehow bottle it and keep it for the times when my heart aches to be here.  I think I might even be able to sell it to some friends.

I keep thinking back on this trip, I've lead it no differently than my last 4 (I co-lead two trips last year). Sure I pick up a thing or two to improve but I'm so shocked about how great this one has been. Each one has been a little less dramatic than the last. This trip had a group of people who just wanted to serve Jesus by serving His children. I can't tell you how happy that makes my heart.  It seems that each has been touched by Haiti in a way that only God knows where it's going to lead! And I'm excited that most of them want to come back, not because of the glamour of an overseas mission trip but because they love the beautiful people of Haiti. (Haiti doesn't seem that glamorous when my hair is in a pony, I'm wearing shorts and a tshirt and my butt is soaked with sweat...)

I feel like I came here and did exactly what God asked me to do. I served Him well and that makes my heart oh so happy!!!

I don't know why He ever chose me for this or anything for that matter, but I'm so thankful He did!!

Oh Haiti, until we meet again

What's next

I am about to take off from port au prince back home and I always feel like it's the top worst feelings in my life. 

Even with two trips planned for the end of 2014 and 2015 it never seems to get easier. It just doesn't. 

I find myself falling deeper in love with Haiti every time I go. I find myself caring more and more about the people I serve with.  Just when I think I couldn't love them anymore, they seep more and more into my life. It's hard to even describe.

I think so much about my life and what God expects from me. 

I think of this verse:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 NIV)

I don't know what He plans. I know that my life is changing drastically. I know that He is requiring me look at so much. To see all sides of a story and to seek Him to find the ultimate Truth.  That is what I learned this trip. 

I sometimes feel so absolutely burdened by whatever it is that God expects from me. I have no idea! I just know to be absolutely faithful. I find it no surprise that last year I felt so burdened and prayed about who I should share those burdens with, and I did... And my friend just moved away. 

I know God has a plan. I KNOW HE DOES!! I know He has great things in store, you know that very
Popular graduation verse...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Yeah, I get it. I know He does! But I sometimes feel so held back by not knowing, by things that have hurt me and have kept me captive for so long (people pleasing!!! Ugh) but keep reading...

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV)

God is faithful and sovereign. No doubt about it.

Act justly
Love mercy
Walk humbly
Call on Him
Seek Him 

It's not that hard. Really it's not.

It's rather simple. My Lord does not ask things of me that I cannot do, quite the opposite, He asks me to put down my cross and follow Him. 

And so I will. 

I'm thankful. 

And honestly a little scared, but it's time to step out. Not knowing what is ahead but in faith walking.






Thursday, August 28, 2014

Let there be light

The majesty of God never ceases to amaze me. This morning was rough. I am exhausted!!! At about 3:30 everyone who slept on the roof (8 of us) had to come down because it was raining.

After getting everyone settled I was awake for an hour longer, apparently God had something He wanted to say and He kept me up to listen. And spoke He did, and listen I will :)

Change is a coming, and while scared of change mostly because I don't know what's ahead, I'm taking off the straps that have held me for so long and looking forward to something new and a lot quieter. I'm looking forward to going places that are good for my soul.

This morning there was the brightest red sunrise. Made me a little nervous (red sky at night sailors delight red sky in the morning sailors take warning) but as the sky was lit, everything reflected red. As the power and lights were out, it reminded me that His Power is never out, that light cannot be distinguished (john 1:5). He is majestic. And as I walk into a new way, a different path, I'm thankful that His light is a path for me feet :) (psalm 119:105)

Pursuing a heart after God's

Every night the children recite psalm 23 and it's honestly one of my favorite things for me to hear. Last trip my heart just spoke about it.

Last night Madam Claudette lead the devotions and she chose that scripture to begin with.

She talked about how david messed up a lot but came back to The Lord repenting of his sinful ways and praising God.  

I just want to be that way. I hate my own sin!!! And it makes me want to hide like Adam and Eve but we are so blessed that even in our wicked ways, God takes is back.

I think that is a hard lesson for me because it seems that man just isn't like that. And so often i see God like people who lead in my life.  And they scold me and leave me and then sometimes it's hard to accept God's love and grace. I can remember one time a someone made me feel so terrible about myself, that I was so awful that I isolated myself, and actually thought that the pain from that was so great, that sucking in dirt (suicide) would be my best option. Clearly I realized that wasn't the best option, forgave the person  and moved on. That lesson taught me most about how God truly is there for me in my darkest of times and how we must love, everyday, no matter what. 

I want to love so that others can experience the love and grace of God, surely that is something i want to do but more than that, I want to be a woman who chases after the heart of God, never giving up, except to give up my sinful ways, and when i do, quickly snuggle under the wings of The Lord, repent, and then praise Him. 

I'm so thankful for the life of David, he has shown us what it is like to run straight into the face of God and continue to seek after Him. What a great example of a man after God's own heart 

Sword of the spirit - lessons in a stabbing

When I first became a Christian, I had a friend who lead the high school Sunday school. She had invited me to come or maybe I invited myself but whichever it was, I will always remember it and it was such an incredible lesson to learn and really seep in because really there are so many attacks against us.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

I have been thinking so much about words and how they harm others. I am thankful that when someone really hurts me I try to think about what my part in it was. I pray and seek God to reveal truth to me, and in that I pray that He reveals ways that I may have hurt others in the same way so that I won't continue with such behavior. That may seem weird to some but God gives me great wisdom in those times. It's a blessing in the middle of pain. It becomes a Romans 8:28 moment for me.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

In Eph 6 it says about the sword:
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17 NIV)

The sword is part of the full armor of God. The Word of God. It is used for speaking life into the hearts of others, it is a beautiful love story that God has written to us.  It is sweeter than any love letter you'll ever get from a lover. It brings light and love to the darkest of places.  God stitches His love into our hearts and in my life it seems verses that my mind may have forgotten come right out of my heart.  I love how He does that!! It's a secret weapon I sometimes don't even know I'm carrying ❤️

I'm thinking so much of words, truth. Thinking of speaking them to myself and to others.  We can say things that people need to hear with being mean or harsh, and when we speak truth to people, even if it's hard to say, we must remember we must earn the right to be heard in their lives, and we earn that right with LOVE.

I'm so thankful for the lessons I've learned through the pain that I've had. It's caused me to pursue Love, to really hear what God has had to say in my life and to my heart. It has shut the mouth of self doubt, ugly pride, and left me with a clean heart, washed by my own tears that went seeking after the tears and blood that was shed for me by my Savior. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saying see you later!!!

When I look back on the last seven years as much as I am crying because my friends are leaving, I can't help but smile a million smiles.

I've loved a love that is incomparable to anything I ever thought possible. I've made a million memories. I thought about some of my favorite memories, how postcards in the mail make me smile. How three little boys grabbed a hold of my heart and stole it forever. How kids so broken by the world were healed by Jesus! Families were made whole.

Yes, it's hard to see my friends go to Colorado but it just means that we will have a great place to visit. One trip planned and another about to be booked :) it means reading over Facetime and making videos.

I can say that because of my friendship with two amazing people who turned into 5, I'm braver than I ever thought I'd be, closer to God than I ever knew possible, blessed beyond any human measurement. 

Yes it's hard... But it's not goodbye, it's see you later... 65 days and counting... 

Everyday no matter what.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What an amazing week!!

I've met a lot of amazing people here this week! 

So I love this neighborhood, though it might be possible that I have a false sense of security here this week ;)

I've been thinking about how hard it must be to take care of these houses. Sure, they are pretty inexpensive to buy, so even if someone could afford to buy them, if they were living on a fixed income it might be hard to fix them up or take care of the upkeep. 

So let's say you're someone living in one of these houses making $18 per hour (which equates to about $36k per year) that's really not that much. Before taxes that's $3000 per month, estimated $2000 per month after taxes. House payment even if it's only $500/month, food, utilities, phone bill, car, gasoline... It wouldn't take much to burn through that. And now you've got to put money aside to "someday" put on roof. Which by the way most people haven't been taught to put away for someday because they've been living hand to mouth their whole lives. And they need to take care of things now.

And that's where people who carry Jesus with them, step in. Bill hybel says "excellence honors God and inspires people" and I'll tell you, it's done just that. This community (not all of it but a lot of it) has gotten out with the volunteers and stepped alongside, we have served each other.  I have a friend I've known for a long time that lives over here and he's so happy with how things are cleaned up. He's volunteering himself.  My new friend Miss Ernestine has been out here everyday. Loving and inspiring, those around here and me. She's love in the flesh. She calls me "baby". She inspires me. And I hope one day to walk with her into church. 

This has been one of the best experiences of my life. Tomorrow is the last day and I have so much to write. 

I'll tell you, all my days, I'm thankful to be chosen by love. 

This girl, right here, she's the one God loves.

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:27

Look at this school


How 5 people can impact my life and now I am doing

So the cat is now out of the bag as they say, my friend’s, the Dorband 5 are moving to Colorado.  I’ve known for a little while, 3 weeks or so, and I’ve held tight to this secret and now it seems a lot more real as people started to find out.

People called me as they found out, I think mainly because they knew I loved those 5. They would cry, and I’d put on a stupid brave face sometimes and sometimes I’d cry right along with them.  And sometimes they’d speak “Christianese” to me. They’d say some really stupid corny stuff that Christians tend to say when they don’t know what else to say but they want to sound Holy and trusting.  I don’t know, it’s dumb. I hate Christianese, especially if someone is talking to me. I just want to tell them to SHUT THE HELL UP.  Yesterday, someone who doesn’t even know me started that whole “it’s gonna be ok, God has a plan” stuff, and I just said “I’m sorry, this sucks, and I don’t speak Christianese”.

Everyone keeps asking me how I am doing.  I don’t know, I take each minute as it comes, and some of them I barely make it through, and some I joyfully sob through because I think I’m the luckiest girl on the planet because I got to be Auntie to 3 little boys who stole my heart at first thought. And I got to be friends with two people who truly are the most like Jesus I’ve ever met.  They have taught me how to love and to accept it. They have taught me how to give grace because I learned how to receive it. 

I’m thankful for years of serving with them.

When thinking about my favorite moments in Youth Ministry, the list is so long, I couldn’t pick just one.  And I can barely remember any yucky ones.  Isn’t that amazing?! 

Two people who believed in God’s love and grace who came to Downriver (I have no idea why anyone would come to the arm pit of Michigan – unless God called them) and changed lives, impacted them with love, these two are world changers and certainly changed my world.

By the time I get back from Haiti, they will be gone.  And I am sad.  That’s how I am doing. There might be moments when I just stand there and cry because my heart is completely broken, and moments when I laugh so hard thinking about these 5. They have touched my heart in ways I never thought possible.

So I’d like to end with this…

Yes, I know it’s going to be ok
Yes, I know God has a plan
Yes, I know I can go visit (my first plane ticket is already booked)
And yes, this sucks

I was the luckiest person on the planet to have loved them, and that won’t ever changed.


Dorband5, I loveyou every day, no matter what or where.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Its possible to make a difference!

It's been a crazy week so far! It's been down and it's been up! As I've been driving around, my heart is spinning. (I'm the runner for the groups)

I drove past St. Suzanne's church yesterday and thought about my gram. We used to go to church there when I was young. Funny how it seemed so big but it really wasn't as big as I remembered (I'm gonna see if I can go in there today or tomorrow).  I found the greatest school (ok so it doesn't have windows- but they say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one). I've seen tons of houses that went from blight to beautiful. I've seen beautiful houses that id even move into. I've seen some id like to level and start over. 

This project is crazy amazing.  There is strength in numbers, the hearts of the people who are working and who are living there.

I gotta problem though. 

Don't I always?

I don't want to just come in and leave. And they have a one year plan. Which is so awesome! So what do I do? How do i plug into that? Logistically that is not easy. I live downriver and work in Troy. I felt so strongly in the last couple days that God has been saying "I know you love the waterfront but don't forget about here"

What does that mean?

I have no idea.

Like really.

I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!

That drives me crazy!

So as I drive around today, I'll pray.

I'm in love. I'm in love with Haiti and I'm in love with Detroit and I feel like it's an obtainable love.

But I don't believe that God gives us unattainable love. A cross, it joins the obtainable love in our hearts.

Not sure what God's got planned but I'm thankful He loves me and is a light to my path.

All things are possible with God. Matthew 19:26




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thankful

It's a crazy thing.

I went to bed tired and crabby!!! Why? Because I was wet and cold and I let people steal my joy. And I might have been dehydrated.

It's true. I came home made one of my favorite things in the whole world. Roasted broccoli. Seriously it is one of my favorites. I relaxed and watched a movie and took a really hot bath, and felt better. I think I would have been way better had I had some ice cream.

It crazy rained last night. My heart is breaking for those with flooded basements. Finished or not it sucks. Even if it's clear water, it sucks. If it's raw sewage it sucks even worse.  And it's happening to everyone and there isn't anything anyone could have done to stop it. I woke up and normally the first thing i do is pee, but today I check my basement. Praise The Lord the basement is dry.

Thankful for food, friends, a warm, dry safe place to lay my head, thankful for a Savior who loves me.

I'm thankful for so much.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

That's hope

So tomorrow is the kick off of the Life Remodeled my second Detroit mission trip this year! I'm super pumped!!! 

Typically I spend most of my time in Detroit in southwest Detroit, though I really do love it all (I see the beauty) and hear the never dying heartbeat. And it's easy to love the waterfront and midtown but I challenge myself to look past the weeds and overgrown everything, in the fire ravaged homes, to the faces. To the faces of those who have been left abandoned, to the children who have been left to fend for themselves.  For those who have been victims to abuse and the cycle continues and they become the perpetrator, because they never see anything different.  I see the hope in the eyes of those left to fight for this city, fighting first on their knees in prayer. Oh Jesus, please come to them, all of them.

I drove down Joy Road today, a road I have traveled a lot of my life. My gram lived on West Chicago and Joy Road so that is the way we took to see her and my grampa. (I felt this crazy overwhelming desire to bring the fire station that I've driven by 6000 times ice cream, so I brought 3 half gallons, caramel, and waffle bowls)

It looks different and in some ways the same. The Dairy Queen is now a BBQ place. Herman gardens (the projects) is now torn down. You can see some history here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Gardens

The houses are smaller and some of them are sooooo cute. 

Shhhh.... Can you hear that? That's the sound of children playing in that park that's being cleaned. It's safe for them, and they are free to giggle and put down guard for just a minute to be free.  That's hope. 

Close your eyes.  See that teen who wants to be a nurse? She wants to care for those in her community. Her heart has compassion, and it hasn't been stripped by this ugly cruel world. That's hope.

See him? He's smart! He's gonna be an engineer. His mind never turns off, he wants to know how everything works. He's gonna do it!  Education and people breathing life into that young man. That's hope.

Remember the day when the fire truck visited the school and that little boy was Enamored by the shiny red fire truck? And the smile of the fire fighter who protects him? He's going  to do that someday.  That's hope.

And that beauty over there? She's gonna be a momma.  She's gonna be the safe place in the neighborhood for all the kids. She will be a great momma, the kind she always wanted.  That's hope.

That's hope. 

And this week, it's my small part in it. It's not much, but it's my offering. 

And dad, when you wonder why I want to move here, or why I love this city, it's because you gave me a safe place, and taught me to serve. So you, and Jesus, it's all your fault ;)


Saturday, August 09, 2014

It's important to brush your teeth

What do you think of when I mention toothpaste?

I think of many things... Like how I really only like one kind. Colgate. The plain kind. Not whitening, not brightening. The kind my gram used. As soon as i was in charge of buying toothpaste (I moved out), that's the kind I started buying.

Toothpaste also reminds me of a day on Pom mountain in Haiti. If I had to pick one of the best and worst days in my life, I would choose that day.  Truly it was a Romans 8:28 day in my life. 

You might have read or heard me tell this story. After a very long day. A long day of praising and giggling day, a day of seeing God's provision and in the same moment seeing there not being enough. I prayed that one pot of rice that in my mind wasn't enough to feed 50 needed to fill over 100 people. I prayed and pleaded with God for fishes and loaves (Luke 9:10-17). I'll tell you, it didn't look like enough. And we were one plate short and if you know me, you know I about lost my mind, my heart broke, and then this little boy shared his plate and then everyone ate.

Now I see God's provision, I see it but it made me so angry!!! I tried really hard not to cry. Somehow I made it to the truck but as soon as we started moving in the truck I started to cry. Big fat tears. If you've seen me, you know what I'm talking about. The poor translators, they kept saying "it's going to be ok" and I kept saying "no it won't". 

And then it happened. 

A little boy ate toothpaste. 

Yes, that's right.

He was hungry and he ate toothpaste.

That's it.

The ugly UGLY tears. The kind that Jesus uses. I tried to contain it, but that just wasn't going to happen. 

We finally got to the compound and I was able to get out of that truck.  And I got out. I walked. Me and Jude. And I just cried and talked about what I saw. And it wasn't ok. 

That day will never be ok in my life. It never will.

I was soooooooo mad at God.  I didn't understand and I'll never understand it. I know God let me witness it for some reason but it made me SO angry. In my life I've never shouted at God. I waited until the morning. In our quiet time together it was not quiet.

In that week, my life was forever changed. In that time God said to me "I'm sending you". Oh wait, me? Oh come on. 

But I'll tell you, I know I'm called to Haiti. For how long I don't know. But I know I'm called to care for those in Haiti. Maybe it's clothes, or relationships, maybe it's peanut butter and jelly. Maybe it's rice and beans, and maybe it's school and English. Maybe it's jump ropes and hugs, and smooches, and water.

This is what I know about Haiti and it's people 

Mwen toujou Renmen ou

I'll loveyou always 

I don't know the timing or what I'll do, because let's face it, I'M OUT OF MY ELEMENT!!!! It causes me to stay close, under the wings of the God of universe! 

Toothpaste reminds me that God sends us people in our lives who come along side us to walk with us, to pray for us, to support us.

It reminds me that God loves the beautiful people of Haiti and He loves me. 

I doubt I'll ever do something ginormous in my life, I'm called to small things for a big God. And I love that, may you never see me, may You always see Him.

In all things.

Even toothpaste.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Running and a favorite song!

I am going to train for a 5k, it’s something that I’ve been looking forward to doing, I actually really love running.  Going to start slow, and build up.  I’d love to do the ½ marathon in 2015.  I have a favorite playlist even though it’s kind of old because it’s been a while since I really ran seriously (stress fracture, plantar fasciitis, I’m lazy, and busy).  When I run, I have a few songs that I really LOVE, that totally get me pumped.
And some of my favorite songs are understandable you’d probably think “oh yeah that makes perfect sense” but there are probably songs that you might be surprised about.  And for the most part, I do listen to Christian music.   When I would run years ago, it was Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Eminem, and Christina Aguilera and I’d love it, but when I started the Biggest Loser at church, I found that I could not run to it anymore, it was weird, I couldn’t find my groove in running.  So… I deleted a lot of songs off, and recruited help with some running songs.
  
So…  this song it’s my favorite…  it makes me crazy excited to run…


This song gets my pumped because even though I have to get past some of the language, it reminds me that the strength within me (from Jesus) can’t be stopped. That no matter what people say about me, I will keep going.  Fall down 7 times, get up 8.


I have participated in a half marathon (I did not run the whole thing!!) and have run up to 10 miles without stopping and all that training made me to believe I could do anything… but then I stopped… and then that takes me to a whole new mess of tornado of yuck I think about myself. And if I am honest a 5k doesn’t seem like much for me because I’ve run more than that.  And I never think that when other people run 5ks, so I am giving myself a little slack, and I am going to focus on doing 5ks well, and just taking small steps to make myself better, and to not beat myself up.


I love running and one of my goals was to complete a 5k (My goal was by May, but better late than never).  I might walk it with friends or run it, who knows, but the goal will be completed, and I will begin training tonight.  With my favorite song J

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Looking Forward

There is a lot about to change in my life.  I can't go into it all right now, but let's just say, things are about to look really really different.  I am not sure I am handling it all really well right now but I am trying.  My dad has said that I have always hated change, and while I look forward to it, the process is grueling sometimes.

But since I really try to be an optimist...  (The glass isn't just half full, I am thankful for the glass!!) I'd like to tell you some things I am looking forward to...

1.  My trip(s) to Haiti
2.  Spending time at home
3.  Reading on my porch
4.  Canning & Freezing
5.  Rice and Beans
6.  Running
7.  Family Dinners
8.  Being bored (I'm not really looking forward to this)
9.  Walks by the River
10.  Walking around Belle Isle (I have a weird bucket list - This is on it)
11.  Trip to Indiana to see my good friend
12.  A WHOLE WEEKEND RETREAT!
13.  Annie
14.  More trips to Buckley
15.  Enjoying just "being"


Monday, August 04, 2014

The friends God sends

Mission trips are a funny thing.  They can really change your life and you can meet people that you never knew before and become instant family.  Now don’t get me wrong, they can also make you crazy and want to really lose it because you get to know people a little too well.  The funniest thing to me about mission trips is that (at least on my trips) we talk about poop A LOT.  Are you going? Are you going too much? Is it too fast or too slow? If you know what I’m saying…

Sometimes on mission trips you find unexpected treasures…




Insert Nikki and Curtis.

Now, you’d probably never think that we would even go to the same church, let alone be friends, and then add to that, we genuinely like and truly love each other….  we are all VERY different.  You can only imagine my face when I opened their wedding invitation of zombies…  oh boy. 

When I found out on my trip that they were coming I was like “oh boy” and they were nervous about it too (I can be a “little” high strung… and they are NOT).  But somewhere in time, our hearts joined.  I just really love them.  And I love that they love Haiti.  I pray for their long term goal of going to Haiti and that God open doors wide for them.  I pray for His provision in their lives.   And I pray that their hearts be open, and that He protects them so they never feel the need to build their own walls. 

They came over for dinner yesterday with the cutest gift for me, a frame with two pictures, one of my girl Maxie and me.  It meant the world to me!  My daughter said that Maxie really is mine, we do the same thing with our eyes when we are making silly faces.  

I think we see the best in each other.  I know they see the best in me, I’m on mission and just as God created me to be.  Just living love.  And I love that they get that it’s hard for me to be “home” because they know what it’s like to have your heart bent towards Haiti. I'm thankful that I can trust their hearts to hold mine. I am thankful that I can trust them with my feelings and know that they won't share them, they will just listen and love me.  I am also thankful that Curtis protects me (it seems that God has been showing me so much lately that I don't need to fight, that He sends His angels to protect me).


Nikki and Curtis… I loveyou, I am thankful to God for bringing us together.  I’m thankful to call you friends! I can totally see A vision of us serving long term together in Haiti! Loving muffins!!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Good to me

Man, it's been rough. I can't even begin to tell you. I feel like I've been through the ringer lately.

I have to keep silent because the bible says in Luke 6:45

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45 NIV)

I'm sad at some things

I'm angry at others

I'm excited about something's

And scared out of my mind on others

The only thing I know to do is to be quiet, and to cry. If i don't be quiet there's a good chance if I'm not quiet, the universe will hear something it shouldn't.

Today as I was driving home I thought "enough of this too whom much is given much is required" stuff. My heart is breaking, ok God?" Yes that would have been the words to my psalm. Real eloquent.  And then He reminds me. He's got me to cover the feet of those He loves and a box of crocs arrives for the muffins in Haiti. I almost cried. I didn't. Well not until later. On my way to the airport the song by Audrey Asaad came on, "Good to me" and it reduced me to tears. 


Yes You are good to me. 

I put all my hope on the truth of Your promise
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Chorus:
Because You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me

I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night raise my head up and hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Bridge:
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all my life
I will trust in Your promise

And so I remember that life is not about me, it's not about what I want. I've been given much, and much is required. And that means when I'm tired, I find strength in the One who is strong. I rest in the shadows. (Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 17:8 NIV))
It means that in my loneliness I will seek Him  (You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV))
It means that sometimes I don't always agree but I will always trust. He is faithful.

I know this post seems kind of sad and not the kind of post that Christians are supposed to write. Maybe that's the problem, maybe as Christians we aren't always real with our feelings and our struggles. But these are my feelings and my struggles. But I know, I KNOW and I believe that Christ is at work in my life and my heart. I believe that what He has set out to do, He will. (being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NIV)). I am blessed to know that He is working in and through me and I'm thankful that He is faithful all the time and loves me enough to love me (and give me a gentle reminder) when I'm feeling and struggling. 

Oh psalm 23, He stitched it on my heart so long ago to keep it close. 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-6 NIV)

That is a much better psalm than I wrote...